Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Stella Maris Retreat Centre and Chapel saved

Wingnut Films
Wellington City Council

NEWS RELEASE
12 September 2007

Stella Maris Retreat Centre and Chapel saved

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have bought the historic Stella Maris Retreat Centre and Star of the Sea Chapel in Seatoun.

The purchase follows community and Council concern at an application to the Environment Court to have the heritage listing removed from the Chapel which would have taken away its protection from possible demolition.

“The loss of Stella Maris and the Chapel would have irrevocably altered the beauty and charm of the Seatoun area. We feel it’s important to protect and preserve these buildings. They are an extremely unique piece of local history,” Mr Jackson says.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast welcomed the news.

“The Council is absolutely delighted that Peter and Fran have bought this beautiful site. This iconic facility has been an integral part of the Seatoun community for decades, as a chapel and school, and is historically significant, not just to the local area but to the whole of Wellington,” she says.

“The Council has worked hard to protect the site. The architecturally-significant church is listed as an historic place and we have recently extended that protection to the area around the church. Without this extremely generous offer by Fran and Peter to buy and protect the site, Wellington faced losing a very valuable piece of the city’s heritage. On behalf of the city I thank them.”

Mr Jackson says their use of the site will be low impact – most likely offices and a small computer effects production facility.

“Our aim is to preserve the chapel and the Stella Maris school building in their current setting. At this stage the goal is to strengthen the Chapel and use the surrounding buildings for low key work such as film editing and computer effects. We appreciate the local interest in these historic buildings, and we’re thinking about holding an open day early in the New Year,” he says.

Sisters of Mercy Congregation Leader Sister Denise Fox says the Sisters are delighted at the news and welcome the sale enabling the preservation of the Chapel and original building. The result is a positive outcome for all involved, she says.

The Sisters of Mercy ran Star of the Sea School on the site from 1909 until 1976. When the school closed the buildings were used as a conference and retreat centre. The Chapel has been closed since 2002 as it does not meet the Council’s earthquake code. The settlement date is 21 December.

“Ending our association with a community like Seatoun is not easy, but the school has been closed for 30 years, and the demand for retreats has declined,” Sister Denise says.

“We are able to focus on our mission of education, healthcare, social services and the provision of social housing and are released from the burden of preserving an historic building. The outcome will be pleasing for the various parties who have shown interest in the Chapel since our application was lodged in the Environment Court,” says Sister Denise.

Wellington City Council will work with Peter and Fran to support their heritage restoration work and other small changes to prepare the site for its exciting new future as part of Wellington’s creative industries.

“This must be one of the best locations in Wellington for creative thinking,” Mayor Prendergast says.

“I’m delighted that the beauty of this site will not only be maintained for the residents and visitors of Wellington, but will now become available to new generations as a place to explore and develop their creative talents,” she says.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news